One-on-One With Ben Reed

Following the announcement of Coach Hawkins being named the 13th coach in the history of the WMU men's basketball team Broncos Illustrated was able to talk to junior guard Ben Reed. Reed gave us his thoughts on Coach Hawkins being named the new coach, about how his game is coming along and about the changes being made heading into the 2003-2004-basketball season.

So Ben what do you think of this coaching change?

"I think it's a real big step for Coach Hawk. I mean, him being an assistant coach and all. It's going to be some big shoes he's got to fill with Coach Mac leaving the way he left with good seasons and post season play. So it's going to be some big shoes to fill pretty much. It's an honor for Coach Hawk to be in the position he's in because he truly wanted to be here, he truly loved it here. The word "loyal" if there's anybody you can pinpoint their loyal to it's Coach Hawk because he wanted to be here. He didn't up and leave with Coach Mac. I'm proud of Coach Mac. I congratulated Coach Mac, I wish him the best but at the same time we have to move on and Coach Hawk was the best fit for us."

How'd the players view Coach Mac leaving?

"It was pretty much mixed feelings. Some people was like, "he's leaving. Why is he leaving? He was just talking about loyalty last week." But at the same time it's like that's the business aspect. That's the business side of it. People weren't really like down and like "man" for too long because we know you can't hold a good coach down. But at the same time it was like "we just got to hurry up and find someone else that's good. That's up to Coach Mac's level or better." We found it in Coach Hawk."

It seems like he's going to do some good things with you guys. You looking forward to finding out who else he's got in mind for the assistant coaches?

"Oh yeah. We know he's got a big vision for us. But at the same time it's like trying to find assistant coaches we just got to let Coach Hawk do that. He knows the best fit for us. We just got to let him handle that. If he wants our input or wants our opinion, we are going to tell it to him. But at the same time we know he's got our best interest at heart too."

Listening to him talking about some of the plans for the team. The kind of defense situation isn't going to change that much. Are you expecting a lot of changes offensive wise?

"We got different players coming in next year. We've got some shooters coming in. I'm going to be a hundred percent next year and my shot is going to be back. My whole entire game is going to be back. So it's like yeah, I know it's going to be different regardless if Coach Mac would have stayed here the offense would have been different. Just because of the personnel we got like Coach Hawk said. But at the same time we've got to have better chemistry on the court. Our offense is going to a lot better because I'm going to be back, Reggie (Berry) is going to be back, he's going to be shooting the ball tremendous and we've got a six sack shooter coming in that can shoot it from anywhere. So that's going to open up the offense for everybody else."

You were talking about you being back. It seems like throughout the season you kind of struggled and then at the end of the season you kind of got over that sophomore jinx. What was it that you were working on to get over, whether it was mental or physical that was affecting your shots?

"I think it was, I went from shooting every day before my injury, up to my injury I was shooting four hundred, five hundred shots a day. When I got injured I couldn't do that. I was going three days, four days without shooting because of my knee. So it was pretty much a physical part. Mentally I was cool because I would play twenty-five, twenty six minutes a game. The mental part was nothing it was the physical part what my knee didn't want me to do or I couldn't do because of my knee. So next year, it wasn't a sophomore jinx, I think it had a lot to do with my knee but I didn't want to have any excuses about anything. But at the same time it's like next year is going to be totally different. It's going to be tough. I'm going to be a hundred percent mentally and physically it's going to be pretty hard to stop me next year. I'm going to put it on the line this year because I've worked to hard to be having the season I had last year but at the same time I still want to do everything possible I can to help the team out."

So are you in here already taking your five hundred shots a day?

"Oh I'm me. I'm back man. I'm telling you I'm back I'm back. With no doubt I'm back. Seriously I've been in the gym now. I'm just trying to relax a little bit. I'm just shooting right now. I'm not really playing too much because I'm trying to get my knee a hundred percent. I just want to keep on going. Just keep on getting stronger and stronger then probably like this summer when everybody comes back I will start running full court and see how it is and then by that time I should be alright."

Now heading into the summer getting ready for next season's start in the fall. With the coaching situation out of the way, what can we expect from the players in the form of working out this summer and getting themselves prepared for the season?

"The whole team is going to be back June twenty sixth. So regardless we're all going to be back working, working hard trying to get our bodies right. So the conditioning is going to be good because the whole team is going to be back. Everybody is going to be working out pretty hard. You've got to work hard with Coach Hawk, it's either you work hard or you go home."

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